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Qantas to suspend its Rome services

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 12 June 2003

Qantas Airways said today it would suspend its twice weekly services to Rome via Singapore and commence codeshare services four times each week to Rome via Hong Kong with oneworld partner Cathay Pacific.

The Cathay Pacific codeshare services will commence on 9 September and be operated by a Qantas aircraft between Australia and Hong Kong and a Cathay Pacific aircraft between Hong Kong and Rome.

This represents a doubling of frequency compared with the current Qantas schedule. The new codeshare services will depart Australia on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Qantas plans to operate 30 services per week to Europe from 9 September - 21 to London, seven to Frankfurt and two to Paris.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Geoff Dixon, said Qantas began services to Rome in 1948 and the suspension of these services highlighted the extremely difficult environment for international airlines, including Qantas.

"This decision has not been made lightly," Mr Dixon said.

"The aviation industry is going through the most difficult period in its history, with SARS compounding the consequences of the events of 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the threat of terrorism.

"All areas of Qantas have been affected and we have made a range of tough decisions including redundancies, retirement of aircraft and the reduction of capital expenditure by $1 billion (S$1.14 bilion) next financial year."

Mr Dixon said Qantas would maintain a sales office in Rome and monitor developments to determine whether Qantas operated services to Rome may be resumed in the future.

Qantas Frequent Flyer members will earn points on the new codeshare services to Rome and oneworld alliance benefits will also apply.

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